View Full Version : Need some advice on my first solo backcountry hunt

08-05-2012, 03:36 PM
Hey guys, I am leaving for my first solo back country Mule Deer hunt. I have rifle hunted all my life but finally got into this addictive bow hunting side of things. My question is this, is there anything I need to make sure i have made provisions for? Any supplies, or gear that is a must? Like I said I am a competent hunter I have just never done back country bow hunting especially alone.

Thanks guys, we are all getting close to getting out there!

Old Hunter
08-05-2012, 05:06 PM
You should buy "Public Land Mulies" by David W. Long. It will help you a lot.

08-05-2012, 05:11 PM
You should buy "Public Land Mulies" by David W. Long. It will help you a lot.

Extremely good read. I just got through it myself on the recommendation of the members here.

08-05-2012, 09:33 PM
One thing I would consider for sure, is to make sure you have an angle compensating rangfinder.

Atleast 10x optics and a good wind indicator. The wind is everything in bow hunting.

Make sure you have a do-able meat extraction plan.

If your solo you must emergency supplys ie. duct tape, bandages, superglue,firestarter, emer. blanket etc. and the ability to stay calm.

Good Luck and remember Archery is a year round commitment.

Old Hunter
08-06-2012, 07:45 AM
Oops! I missed the bow hunter. I have a different book to recommend. David Longs book will still help you a lot, but it's geared more to the rifle hunter. Try this book. It's for the bow hunter.

"Hunting Open Country Mule Deer" by Dwight Schuh

08-06-2012, 07:56 AM
Guys, thanks for the great advice. I have the book by David Long and read it a couple of months ago, it was a great read for sure. I will look up the other book as well.

I bought the Nikon Rifle Master Range Finder with the angle compensation built in and it has proved invaluable already at the range. I have an amazing pair of Minox 10X42 as well as a spotting scope. I likie the ideas of emergency supplies as well, good call there. I have been working my ass off for this hunt, shooting a ton, scouting a lot and building a good amount of supplies.. Now i just have to hope I can get within range. I know they are there and where they are its now just a matter of getting in close.

Thanks again, and keep the ideas coming.

Kevin Root
08-06-2012, 08:13 AM
Backcountry Bowhunting: A Guide to the Wild Side by Cameron Hanes has a section in the book on "solo hunting in the backcountry-what does it take?" The book for me was very inspiring and informative. As far as gear updates and innovation goes and other information, looking through some of the threads here on the Eastman's forum has been very helpful to me as well.

Old Hunter
08-06-2012, 08:13 AM
I envy your hunt. At 70 years old I think this will be m y last hunt with a rifle/muzzleloader. I'm going to switch to a crossbow for the rest of my hunting. I should have done it when I could pull a bow, but it's too late for that now. I know the majority of bow hunters use a stand, but i'm a still hunter, and I want to see if I can make that work with a crossbow. The difference being I take a lot of running shots with a rifle, and I wouldn't with a crossbow. I also need to be a bit closer. Even though i've taken a lot of shots with a rifle that were in bow range. They'll all have to be in bow range with the crossbow.

Sorry, i'm rambling and off topic. Good luck with your hunt.

08-06-2012, 08:55 AM
A couple of my favorite pieces of backpacking gear, I wont leave the trailhead without:
- Packable down jacket (Super efficient insulation for the weight/space)
- MSR Pocket Rocket Stove (super light/small, and boils a cup of water at altitude in no time)
- Large sized charcoal hand warmers (2 per day for later season trips, they are super light and throw a couple in your sleeping bag at night for some extra warmth, and they are still giving off heat in the morning when you are glassing in the cold)
- Good Sleeping pad (I have a big agnes, but whatever gets you off the ground helps alot to keep you comfortable and warm on a cold night.
- +1 on the survival gear mentioned above, I would add a 6x6 sheet of tyvek (house wrap) and 20-30 ft of parachute cord, it is pretty light, waterproof, and allows you to make an emergency shelter. Don't leave your survival gear at spike camp, it won't do you any good if it isn't with you when you get lost out hunting.

08-09-2012, 10:40 AM
That's a pretty open-ended question. There are quite a few supplies and gear you should make sure not to forget. Packable rain gear (I love my Driducks - $15 and 12 oz), insulated puffy-type jacket (I love my Stoic - $55 and 7 oz), merino underwear and socks, babywipes (I dry mine to save weight then rehydrate for a refreshing camp-bath).

There are volumes of more information to completely answer your question, though. Hope this gets you started,


08-09-2012, 10:02 PM
+1 on Dwight Schuh

To the emergency supplies add a small mirror, water purifying tablets, space blanket, tweezers, compass, whistle, moleskin, chapstick, and a good waterproof map. Together those weigh very little.

For fire starter, try some cottom balls soaked in vaseline. Carry them in a small bottle like a prescription bottle.

If you wear glasses, take a spare pair inside a light, hard case. Break a temple, lose a screw or break a lens and you'll be glad you did.

Merino wool is best for your first couple of layers because among other great qualities, it still insulates when wet.

In God We Trust
08-14-2012, 11:20 PM
+1 on a good emergency kit with first aid supplies as well as fire starter stuff and a space blanket. One thing that used to kill me and cut my trips short was I would get lonely after about 4 days, especially at night. I started carrying a small and light am/fm radio that also picks up NOAA weather stations. I use it around camp and it has helped with the quietness that becomes overwhelming sometimes after a long hunt. It may be a little bit of unnecessary weight but it is in ounces and I like to stay out longer now.

09-12-2012, 07:11 PM
After the obvious answers, survival and emergency suppllies, take plenty of food and have a good source for water, eat enough that you have the energy you will need to keep going, a good water filter is a must and the mountain house dehydrated meals are pretty good along with some balanced high calorie/high protien energy bars for filler. Nothing can ruin a hunt faster than dehydration, or lack of energy due to a poor diet.